FORT MYERS, Fla. — Josh Beckett went to Texas on Monday to have his injured thumb examined, but Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said he expected the right-hander to make his scheduled start at Detroit this weekend in Boston’s second game of the season.

“He’s had a little situation that he was taking care of today … just for peace of mind,” Valentine said.

Still, right-hander Alfredo Aceves said he has been told to be ready to pitch Saturday’s game against the Tigers and the home opener against Tampa Bay on April 13 if Beckett is not able to start.

Beckett has a history of blisters on his pitching hand. Valentine said that was not the issue.

“Just been a little situation,” Valentine said. “Think I might have mentioned it 10 days ago. It was a situation we were dealing with. I feel really good right now. But as in all cases you have to be prepared. I think we are. I think we’re covered whatever happens.”

Beckett threw 100 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday.


“Felt great. Hit location,” Valentine said.

Valentine said he “totally” expects Beckett to start Saturday.

Beckett was 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in five spring training starts. He was expected to rejoin the team in Detroit for opening day rather than for Tuesday’s exhibition at the Washington Nationals.

AARON COOK is headed to the minors. If he keeps pitching the way he did Monday, he might not stay there long.

Cook threw five solid innings, Adrian Gonzalez had two hits and the Red Sox beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 at Fort Myers, Fla.

Cook, who allowed only two hits, finished the spring with a 1.88 ERA.


Cook is slated to go to Triple-A Pawtucket and work as a starter there.

INDIANS: Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki during a spring training game.

Jimenez will serve his suspension during the first five games of the season unless he asks the players’ association to appeal the decision by MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr.

Indians Manager Manny Acta expects an appeal.

“He’s starting the second game of the season,” Acta said. “It’s disappointing, but I’m not surprised.”

Before the penalty was announced, Jimenez said he wasn’t going to apologize to Tulowitzki after hitting his former Rockies teammate on the left elbow Sunday.


GIANTS: Matt Cain and San Francisco agreed to a $127.5 million, six-year contract, the largest deal for a right-handed pitcher in baseball history.

REDS: First baseman Joey Votto told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was close to agreeing to a long-term contract.

USA Today and reported that the contract would be for $225 million over 10 years.

YANKEES: Left-hander Andy Pettitte moved closer to pitching in a game after another positive throwing session.

Pettitte made 25 pitches off a bullpen mound at Steinbrenner Field, two days after his second simulated game.

ORIOLES: Jake Arrieta will formally mark his return from elbow surgery by starting on opening day Friday against the Minnesota Twins.


RANGERS: Josh Hamilton is suffering from migraine headaches and is day to day

DIAMONDBACKS: Manager Kirk Gibson says shortstop Stephen Drew’s rehabilitation “hasn’t come along as far as we’d hope” but that the idea that he would be ready for opening day was unrealistic.

Drew is coming back from a brutal injury. He broke his right ankle and ripped the ligaments apart when his spikes were caught under him in a slide into home plate last July 20. His return is probably weeks, if not months, away. He says he has made slow, steady progress this spring with no setbacks.

BRAVES: Reliever Cristhian Martinez was charged with drunken driving after police say they saw him weaving in and out of a lane while driving slowly on a major Atlanta highway.


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